The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-11-17

Posted on November 18th, 2017 at 8:18 am by

Say it ain’t so, Ali!

97 years after the words “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” were allegedly delivered to Shoeless Joe Jackson by a heartbroken young boy, believing that his sports hero took a bribe to throw the 1920 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, we are likewise heartbroken to learn that our own Palestinian hero, restaurant owner Ali Ramlawi, succumbed to Jewish Power right here in Ann Arbor.

It’s difficult in this town to unseat an incumbent City Council member, but the popular Ali was going to give it shot, and he believed he had enough support to get the job done. He even enjoyed the kosherization of his campaign by a 1960’s-era Jewish former-SDS member: “He doesn’t come from the political class of know-it-all consultants, realtors, lawyers, and non-profiteers. Some diversity of eyes, ears and voice would help the Council.”

Enter Jewish Power

Good to go, right? Well, not so fast! cried a local ultra-Zionist Jew: Neal Elyakin (check his Zionist credentials here) weighed in, and really put the screws to Ali. Via email, Elyakin raised the phrase “Guilt by Association” to new heights. After finding my name on Ali’s “Endorsements and Supporters” list, he wrote to his followers:

” Henry is a virulent hater … he hates Jews and he hates the State of Israel. He advocates for the destruction of the State of Israel; standing in front of a house of worship on the holy day of prayer calling for the end to Israel. On his website, Ali includes another hater, Shadia [Shadia is a pseudonym substituted here and below – ed.], who has stood with Henry outside Beth Israel Congregation, holding signs calling for an end to Israel.”

Elyakin continues to hammer Ali: “If you believe as I do, that aligning oneself to a candidate that has as his supporters people like Henry and Shadia, please let your neighbors and friends know that Ali cannot represent people who believe in peace and human decency, and the great fear that someone like this would bring this extreme hate into local Ann Arbor politics.”

Would Ali stand up to this challenge? Would he state that Henry has been his friend since our synagogue vigils began (14 years ago)? Would he tell Elyakin that during that time our political perspective on the ethnic cleansing of Ali’s own Palestine have been completely in sync?

The Demands

Hang on, it gets worse. In a second email, Elyakin reports that Ramlawi actually knocked on his door, to apologize “… for not being more careful about vetting who gets onto his website as a supporter”. Elyakin flies the Israeli flag in front of his home, and we wonder how it would feel to be Palestinian entering a clearly Zionist home? Elyakin writes about that meeting:

“He told me that he did not count Henry or Shadia as supporters. He apologized for not being more careful about vetting who gets onto his website as a supporter. He told me he knows and abhors the message that Henry voices, the hate that Henry and his supporters spout. He told me that he removed Henry’s name as soon as he learned that Henry’s name was on the list. He agreed to put out a statement denouncing the hate that Henry speaks, denouncing the message that Henry advocates. He also agreed with me that Henry’s hate has no place in a civilized world, and certainly does not speak for him.”

The Results

Would Ali actually comply with this demand?

We waited for the day of the election to get our answer. Regrettably, Ali actually complied with BOTH demands: he removed the names of myself and Shadia from his list of supporters (see before and after) AND he issued the following statement (the link in his statement refers to the newspaper article on the baseless charges of “hate” from the SPLC:

Statement from Ali Ramlawi
November 6 2017

During my campaign, there was an unfortunate oversight that led some in our community to believe that I agree with individuals and groups who hold fanatical, hateful and divisive viewpoints.

Nothing could be farther from the truth of the deeply held values that I have always lived by and stood for. I do not align myself and denounce members of our community who represent hateful and divisive ideologies and I do not count them among my supporters. MLive June 7, 2017.

I take full responsibility for this oversight and appreciate everyone’s understanding.

Well, sadly there it is. What appears to be a complete capitulation to Jewish Power wielded by Elyakin. Holding folks in the highest possible regard, I crafted a letter (below) to Ali, asking for his side of the story, and hand-delivered it to him over a week ago. I have heard nothing.

Oh, and did we forget to mention that in spite of paying Elyakin’s “ranson”, Ali lost the election anyway? Maybe the lesson is “Never pay Ransom”; it’s never worth it.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
Three vigilers
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November 9, 2017
Dear Ali,

I’m writing this to you as a friend. I want to get your side of the story.

When I learned you were running for City Council, I was excited for you and requested a yard sign immediately. The sign stayed in our front yard from that day until the election.

I believe that request got my name placed on your list of supporters. I was, and am, a supporter of you.
But something happened. Sometime between November 3 and November 7, my name, and the name of my dear friend Shadia, was removed from the supporters list.

In addition, a tersely worded disclaimer was issued by you ” …denounc[ing] members of our community who represent hateful and divisive ideologies …”. The link provided takes readers to photos of myself and a June article at Mlive.com.

I’m in receipt of emails from a pro-Israel individual named Neal Elyakin, who circulated on email what can only be described as an ad hominem attack upon me and Shadia in an effort to smear you as someone who associates with me: ” Henry is a virulent hater … he hates Jews and he hates the State of Israel. He advocates for the destruction of the State of Israel; standing in front of a house of worship on the holy day of prayer calling for the end to Israel. On his website, Ali includes another hater, Shadia, who has stood with Henry outside Beth Israel Congregation, holding signs calling for an end to Israel. ”

Elyakin then writes in a different email that you visited him at his home, where he claims you agreed to his positions in regards to me and Shadia, and that you also agreed ” … to put out a statement denouncing the hate that Henry speaks, denouncing the message that Henry advocates”

Ali, you and I have been friends since I started advocating for Palestine’s liberation. During that time, we enjoyed many private conversations sharing our agreements on this issue. I would classify our relationship as warm and mutual. I would bet my last dollar that you would have agreed.

Before I generate some conclusions about the events of this past week, I would sincerely like to sit down with you to get your side of this story, as stated in my opening line.

Please contact me soon. And thanking you in advance I remain

Your friend,

Henry Herskovitz

 

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-04-17

Posted on November 7th, 2017 at 11:41 am by

Was Raul Hilberg a Holocaust Denier?

The Destruction of the European Jews (Student One Volume Edition) is lauded by Michael Marrus of The Times Literary Supplement: “In its originality, scope and seriousness of theme, this is one of the great historical works of our time”. David S. Wyman, writing for the New York Times Book Review, writes “The standard text in its field … by the pre-eminent scholar of the Holocaust”

Pretty heavy accolades for book and author Raul Hilberg, yes? So imagine our shock to read on page 263, “The Germans killed five million Jews.” [NB: we have long understood that Hilberg’s estimation was 5.1 million, but have not seen this in sentence form that states the number so directly.] We reproduce this page for our readers:

 

 

Didn’t Hilberg get the memo? The world is reminded again and again that it was SIX million Jews who were killed by the Germans. Here’s a standing reminder on the University of Michigan campus for all the world to see; did Hilberg not visit Ann Arbor to get his facts straight?

 

Let’s go out on a limb here, and provide a personal definition of “Holocaust”. Once defined (an assignment suggested to this writer by the late Ernst Zundel) we can determine whether Prof. Hilberg falls into the Holocaust “affirming” camp or the “denying” camp:

The “Holocaust” is the specific part of world history – years 1939 to 1945 – during which time the National Socialist (Nazi) government of Germany formulated and implemented a plan – originating with Adolf Hitler and top Nazi officials – to physically exterminate the Jews of Europe. They accomplished this task in a mechanical, assembly-line process, by transporting Jewish and other groups, to “death camps” specifically equipped with homicidal gas chambers. These gas chambers employed hydrogen cyanide gas (marketed by IG Farben as “Zyklon B”) as the killing agent, and were specifically built for the purpose of following the extermination order. By “Death Camps”, we refer to historian Raul Hilberg’s definition “as a facility the primary purpose of which is conveying people to their deaths.” No less than six million Jews died under this extermination program by the Nazis during this time period.

By this definition, we conclude that Professor Hilberg was indeed a Holocaust “Denier”. And, by implication, we find ourselves – members of sister group Deir Yassin Remembered, that is – in pretty lofty company. We recognize that our definition is just one of many possibilities, and we welcome any other definition that may compete with ours. For example, in his book Debating the Holocaust, Thomas Dalton writes: “There can be no denying the Holocaust of the mid-twentieth century; it was called World War II. Roughly 50 to 60 million people died worldwide – about 70 percent of whom were civilians.” For the record, this author – and we can presume Prof. Hilberg – affirm this definition.

Witness for Peace on the Air

This writer was interviewed on Truth Jihad Radio by Kevin Barrett October 27th. The one-hour interview can be found here. Kevin writes:

Henry Herskovitz of Deir Yassin Remembered offers a third opinion on the controversy. Henry hails from a Jewish background, but no longer considers himself a member of the tribe. Henry is well know[n] in Ann Arbor, Michigan for picketing [Kevin, we gotta talk] his local synagogue every Saturday in protest against the Palestinian genocide. Recently a local attorney, Jessica Lieberman, was convicted and sentenced for stealing one of Henry’s group’s protest signs. [we note that Lieberman plead guilty to Disturbing the Peace, not Larcency, as originally charged]

Dedication

This report is dedicated to the memory of our friend Ingrid Rimland Zundel (1936-2017)

Comments?
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Oct. 28 – three vigilers
Nov. 4 – four vigilers

 

 

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-21-17

Posted on October 25th, 2017 at 12:18 pm by

Lieberman Receives Probation, Fines

Jessica Lieberman was sentenced on Oct. 13 to three months probation, $425 in court costs, fines and probation fees, and is required to perform 24 hours of community service, in exchange for her guilty plea to the criminal charge of disturbing the peace. In addition, Judge Karen Valvo ordered her to have no contact with this writer, nor vigilers D and T, for the probationary period. Judge Valvo was very attentive during the reading of the Victim Impact Statement (repeated below signature); we hope her sentencing of Lieberman will provide a warning to future thieves and vandals.

Stephen King Falls Victim to the “Hate” Trap

“Hate” seems to be the slime tool of the day: Witness for Peace and Deir Yassin Remembered get labeled as “hate” groups by local Jews and the Southern Poverty Law Center, local signs like “Hate has no place here” have cropped up since the election of President Trump, and just today the Jewish Chronicle (U/K) labels our friend Gilad Atzmon “…a known peddler of hatred.”

And it seems we can always count on author Stephen King to ride these waves of Politically Correct speech. Having read his 2014 novel, Mr. Mercedes a few years back, we enjoyed recently watching the series on TV produced by AT&T. In the final episode the audience is taken to the hospital room of psychopathic killer Brady Hartsfield, who is lying clinically brain dead after being repeated clubbed in the head with an iron statue. Retired detective Bill Hodges – the hero and a patient in the same hospital – approaches Hartsfield, draws close and menacingly says:

“I know you’re in there. Because Hate hangs on, and Hate is all you had. They’ll bring you back someday. Sure as taxes and Christmas, though, I’ll be waiting. And I’ll finish it.”

But wait a minute. Though it’s been 4 years since I read the book, I did not remember such a final scene in the written word. A trip to the local library to pick up a copy confirmed this observation. In the book, Hartsfield remains unconscious, except for a typical Stephen King Carrie-like back-from-the-dead finish, in this case a nurse reports that after seventeen months in a coma, Hartfield awakens only enough to say “He has a headache. And he’s asking for his mother.”

Why the change? Hartsfield’s psychopathy stemmed from a mentally-unstable childhood, the accidental death of his young brother and the fact that he lived with – and had repeated sex with – his mother. “Hatred” was not a developed theme in either the book or TV series. Like George Bush’s “They hate us for our freedom”, the King-based series ascribes an unsupported reason for a person’s, or group’s, actions. The danger is that it popularizes and condones the usage of “hate” as a Hasbara*-inspired a tool to negatively label one’s opponents. For example, the local Jewish community leverages the popularity of this word and ascribes the groundless reason of “hate” to Witness for Peace’s weekly protest against racist Zionism and the corruption of US interests from the excesses of Jewish Power.

Fair Weather Counter-protester

Although it “never rains on the vigils”, last Saturday was the exception that proves the rule. Three vigilers, plus counter-protester Sue started the day, but after umbrellas were deployed, Sue couldn’t take the figurative “heat” and got out of the kitchen. She reposed to the synagogue’s porch for shelter for some time, then threw in the towel and entered her literal sanctuary. What’s she gonna do in February?

*- Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus https://www.middle-east-info.org/take/wujshasbara.pdf

Comments?
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Oct. 14 – three vigilers
Oct. 21 – four vigilers
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VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
October 13, 2017

Sentencing Judge: KAREN VALVO
Date of Sentencing: Oct. 13, 2017
People of the State of Michigan v. JESSICA LIEBERMAN
Docket No: 17-0520-SM
Name of Victim: HENRY HERSKOVITZ

Pre-sentencing statement of Victim:

Honorable Ms. Valvo:

I thank the Court and the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office for allowing me to make this statement on behalf of myself and our political group, Witness for Peace.

I also wish to convey thanks to Assistant Prosecutor Lou Danner and Victim Right’s Advocate Lea Donoghue for taking the time to meet with me. The stated goal of that meeting was to improve relations between Witness for Peace and the Prosecutor’s office; I believe that goal was achieved and hope relations remain at the current level. We would like to underscore Mr. Danner’s observation that we are a peaceful gathering of citizens and that peace was disturbed by the actions of Ms. Lieberman.

The Victim Impact Statement form asks for a list of physical injuries suffered as a result of Ms. Lieberman’s crime, and also for property loss. Perhaps this is unusual for a victim statement, but in either case, neither myself nor members of Witness for Peace suffered injuries nor property loss. There was property damage, but no loss per se. There was no emotional trauma or injury sustained by myself nor members of the group.

But I would ask the Court to consider that we sustained harm in the sense that our First Amendment rights were under attack by the actions of the Defendant. Although Ms. Lieberman is not responsible for the following, I feel it is important that the Court understand our perspective on this issue of freedom of expression.

Our group has been spat upon, had cars run at us, protestors slapped, a camera shoved into the face of a protestor, signs stolen. We have been physically stalked by a specific individual. In all these cases, the Ann Arbor Police Department performed their duties in an excellent manner, preparing and delivering detailed reports. Until this case, there has been no trial or sentencing for any of the perpetrators of the above offenses.

I repeat that we do not hold Ms. Lieberman accountable for any of the above crimes. I have listed them only to show the duty I have to our group to vigilantly protect the short time we have each week to deliver our messages.

We are thankful for our Constitution’s First Amendment rights that protects our freedom to deliver these messages. I would suggest that the First Amendment is a right cherished by both citizens and the government itself. Certainly, it is cherished by myself and Witness for Peace. As we stand on the public sidewalks and lawn extensions every week, I am appreciative of this right.

As for our thoughts on sentencing the defendant:

It is our understanding that Ms. Lieberman is an attorney, and her plea of “no contest” to the crime of disturbing the peace will be reported by both Mr. Danner and Mr. Minock to the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. We also understand that these reports may be expunged after a successful completion of her probationary period. Our hope is that the Court determine an appropriate sentence that reflects our concern that crimes like the ones committed by Ms. Lieberman and others not be repeated. Since we suffered no real financial loss, nor expect or deserve financial gain from her crime, we therefore leave it in the Court’s hands to determine a proper sentence.

Again, thank you for allowing me to make this statement on behalf of myself and Witness for Peace.

Henry Herskovitz
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-07-17

Posted on October 12th, 2017 at 11:45 am by

Judeo-Christian Dissonance

In this multi-media report, we reflect upon the difference between a Christian response to our vigils and a Jewish one. Understanding that a data set of one is not conclusive of anything, it does appear interesting.

Here’s the back story: About a year ago our vigils themselves were protested by one woman. Anne C. sits every week next to us and holds a sign reading “God Loves Israel” and carries two Israeli flags. Filled with the Christian spirit of friendship and forgiveness, Anne has brought brownies to share with us, and delivered a full tin of Christmas cookies to my home last winter. See our latest pleasant conversation filmed this Saturday here.

Now contrast her friendliness with the hostility presented by Joanna Friedman, Jewish daughter of counter-protester Sarah Friedman, here. Can we attribute the difference in reaction to cultural influences? When does a culture (nurture) of exclusivism and victimhood morph into an aggressive nature? And the complimentary question: when does a culture of inclusiveness, forgiveness and do-unto-others become secondhand and morph into an understanding nature?

Perhaps our friend Gilad Atzmon would favor us with a comment on this situation?

Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day

Our guest celebrity vigiler Michael Rabb of Paris, France, flew in for our September 30 vigil, which coincided with the annual Bill Henry Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day. As reported previously, he wished to keep his identity private, since he was to attempt a visit to Palestine on a tour led by Miko Peled, and thought by lowering his profile would improve his chances of passing scrutiny by Israeli security.

Fat chance. Our gentile friend was bounced from Ben Gurion airport, while his Jewish compatriot – equally anti-Zionist – was allowed entry. I mean, we’re just sayin’ …

We can now publish Michael’s name and vigil appearance:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/Rabb%20Herskovitz%20EAC%20Day%202017.jpg

Jessica’s Friday the Thirteenth Appearance

Readers are welcome to join Witness for Peace at the 15th District Court chambers on Friday, Oct. 13 at 9:00 AM when sign thief Jessica Lieberman will be sentenced by Judge Karen Valvo for “disturbing the peace”, a charge to which Jessica plead no contest. We will read our Victim Impact Statement (to be published in our next report) at that time. The 15th District Court is located in Ann Arbor’s Justice Center, 301 E. Huron St. Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48107.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Sept. 23: Four vigilers
Sept. 30: Seven vigilers
Oct. 7: Three vigilers
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Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-16-17

Posted on September 17th, 2017 at 11:29 pm by

Fourteen Years, and Still Going Strong

Witness for Peace celebrates fourteen years of holding Ann Arbor’s Jewish community publicly accountable for their support of a Zionist (i.e. Jewish racist) state. It is with a smile of contentment when we realize how our message has morphed over the years. Initially, we organized “as Jews (and friends)”, opposed to the “occupation” of Palestine. Later, after reading Paul Eisen’s “Jewish Power” and following Gilad Atzmon’s blog, we recognized the truth in his definition of Zionism: “a Jewish Tribal Preservation Project.” We stopped self-defining as “Pro-Palestinian” and became more accurately “anti-Israel”. “For Palestine to Live, Israel Must Die” by Richard Hugus was an important and vital essay in this transition. We have learned by our mistakes. Our eyes have been opened and we recognize the Controlled Opposition in groups who have yet to realize the corruption evident in Jewish Power, and who not only refuse to discuss the topic, but clearly forbid anyone else to.

Surf the websites of Jewish Voice for Peace, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Code Pink, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Electronic Intifada, and a host of others to see if Jewish Power is discussed. You just won’t find it. Ask any of the leaders of these groups, like we did, to stand vigil with us. Our money says you’ll get hostile responses (if any at all): What? Hold the Jewish Community responsible for the crimes of Israel? It’s not THEIR fault!

But it is. And peace group members need to understand this. Malcolm X certainly did when he refused whites to join his Organization of Afro-American Unity. He understood that the racism that was tearing America apart originated in the white community. And likewise, the racism that is tearing Palestine apart originates just as clearly in the Jewish community. Why else would Jewish communities like Beth Israel Congregation fly the Israeli flag from its altar, pray for the state of Israel, and take Jewish children on junkets where they are posed with armed Israeli soldiers atop military vehicles?

Memory Lane

Some WfP members attended a meeting of a local peace group this week and it was like déjà vu all over again: they are bringing in the Jewish peace activist Alice Rothchild to further burnish “the occupation” in the minds of these good people. They will be instructed to “say Zionists, not Jews”, and they will be taught the horrors of “the Holocaust” and how they should “never forget.” And they will leave her lecture wondering: How could such an innocent, victimized people support a state so cruel to the Palestinians? Hint to all: the answer just could be contained in the question.

Reminder: Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day Approaches

The 8th Annual International Bill Henry Eat-a-Cheeseburger day falls out on Saturday, September 30 this year. Readers are welcome to join us at our weekly vigil on the sidewalks outside the Beth Israel Congregation at 9:30 AM, and to share a cheeseburger later in the day in commemoration of the man who ” … quite possibly saved an eight-year-old boy from a life of ‘Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism'” This year we will be joined by a Guest Celebrity Vigiler whose name is currently being withheld at their request, pending an attempt by that person to travel to Palestine.

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Five vigilers
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-09-17

Posted on September 10th, 2017 at 11:29 am by

 

Brother Nathanael Attends Our Vigil

Renowned YouTube personality Brother Nathanael joined a half dozen other peace activists on August 28th at our weekly vigil in Ann Arbor. Claiming he was impressed with our street presence and decorum, he added a religious component to our otherwise political protest. Later that day he spoke at the Ann Arbor District Library to about a dozen other local activists. Brother Nathanael has a vast knowledge of world events and shared his views on Jewish Power, and historical/religious views on Palestine. Thank you, Br. N; you are always welcome back to join us in front of Beth Israel Congregation.

Jessica Lieberman Pleads No Contest

Sign thief Jessica Lieberman accepted Assistant Prosecutor Lou Danner’s plea offer of Disturbing the Peace (in lieu of Larceny, Less than $200). It was explained to this writer that both offenses are misdemeanors, and that under Michigan law, both Mr. Danner and Lieberman’s attorney John Minock are required to report Lieberman’s actions and plea to Michigan’s attorney disciplinary body. We took note that APA Danner recognized our protest as a peaceful and legal assembly.

At her arraignment and pre-trial hearing in front of Michigan District Court Judge Karen Valvo on August 28, Ms. Lieberman had the option of accepting or rejecting the plea (to Disturbing the Peace). If she rejected Danner’s offer, she would have been tried under the Larceny charge. Judge Valvo took time to read the 8-page police report prior to Lieberman’s plea.

In addition, as a Victim of her crime, I will be able to provide a Victim Impact Statement to the Court at Lieberman’s sentencing on Oct. 13, 2017. That statement is being reviewed at this time and, along with the police report, will be made available to readers after sentencing.

Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day Approaches

The 8th Annual International Bill Henry Eat-a-Cheeseburger day falls out on Saturday, September 30 this year. Readers are welcome to join us at our weekly vigil on the sidewalks outside the Beth Israel Congregation at 9:30 AM, and to share a cheeseburger later in the day in commemoration of the man who ” … quite possibly saved an eight-year-old boy from a life of ‘Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism‘”

Comments?

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Aug. 26 – seven vigilers
Sept. 2 – five vigilers
Sept. 9 – five vigilers
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New Video: “Promised Land – Shattered Lives”

Posted on August 29th, 2017 at 11:59 pm by

More Americans believe than do not believe Israel was given to the Jewish people by God. But does the Bible support this belief? Daniella Weiss, a leader of Israel’s Jewish settler movement, clearly stands with the believers.

The claim that God promised the land to the Jews has been a major factor in the establishment of today’s state of Israel, the Jewish colonization of the land, and the terrible suffering this has caused for Jews as well as Palestinians. But is this claim true? Answering this requires examining the conditions God put on the “land grant” and the consequences of violating those conditions.

Dan McGowan, Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered, narrates this “rest of the story,” citing the New English Bible for clarity. Then viewers should be better able to decide whether God gave the land to the current state of Israel and how to help end the suffering.

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